Last season the injury bug bit the Yankees hard, and almost no one in the starting rotation was safe. So far, 2015 has been better, with the team mostly suffering little injuries that have only required a day or two of rest. In terms of the more serious injuries, it's been the rotation that's been hit the hardest again, with three of the Yankees starters on the disabled list. All three were scheduled to pitch yesterday and appear to be progressing towards joining the team.
During a spring training game, Capuano suffered a right quad strain while running to cover first base. He's been on the mend since mid-March, but he appears to be the closest to rejoining the team of these three pitchers. Last night he was the starter down in Triple-A Scranton, and he was cleared to throw as many as 90 pitches, or to pitch six innings, whichever came first. He ended up pitching six innings and throwing 76 pitches while recording three strikeouts, zero walks, and allowing two earned runs to score. Prior to making that start, pitching coach Larry Rothschild said that it could be Capuano's last rehab start. When he's ready to come off the disabled list, he will likely replace either Adam Warren or Chase Whitley in the rotation. Joe Girardi said the team won't make that decision until they have to, but Warren and Whitley are set to pitch today and tomorrow, so they'll both get another chance to make a case for themselves.
Tanaka was shutdown a few weeks ago with pain in his right wrist (tendinitis) and a slight forearm strain. In the meantime, he's played catch and didn't experience any pain. Yesterday he threw his first bullpen session, 30 pitches mixing breaking balls and fastballs. Tanaka didn't feel any pain while he was pitching, but said he would be interested to see how he felt today. The original timetable was that he would miss a month, and he could be on track for that. Girardi said the next step would be for Tanaka to throw another bullpen session. It has yet to be determined if he will need to make more than one rehab start before eventually being activated from the disabled list.
In terms of rejoining the team, Nova is probably the furthest away at this point. He pitched three innings in an extended spring training game yesterday. In that game, he threw 33 pitches, allowed two hits, made an error and reportedly induced a ton of ground balls. Girardi went over and watched the game in person and said that Nova hit 95 mph with his fastball, which is encouraging to hear since Nova is recovering from Tommy John surgery. Next they'll work on building up his pitch count. He's expected to be done with his rehab some time in June.